Turtles on top of turtles!
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta (Ottawa), Ontario.

Where are they going next? We have flights booked to London, England in October.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Sherman needs some minor repair

A few days ago, Sherman began acting up. Nothing serious, and I recognized the symptoms right away. The idle seemed high and erratic. And, the "Service Engine Soon" light had come on.

I checked the error code, and sure enough it was exactly what I figured. Sherman needed a new idle control module.

I knew this because I had changed it in September of 2018... only a year and a half ago. At the time, we had been coming back down through British Columbia, and he had exactly the same symptoms.

It's not an easy part to find though. Sure, there are listings of online availability but it was going to be difficult to find somewhere to ship it to. I went to an AutoZone store and the lady at the computer said that she had a listing for it, but wasn't able to order it.

The online listings had the price around $30 USD ($42 CAD).

I went to an O’Reilly Auto Parts store where the guy found it in his system right away and said he could have it there by 4:30pm that day. Great! The only downside was that his price was quite a bit higher at $45 USD ($63 CAD). Yikes. But, Sherman needed the part and sometimes it's just not worth the extra effort it would have taken to save the money. We hung around the area until 4:30 and sure enough the part had arrived and it was the right part. I will get it changed at some point today. It's only about a 45 minute job.

Sherman in his site at Guadalupe River State Park.

Man, the strength of the U.S. dollar and the corresponding weakness of the Canadian dollar has sure made it expensive for Canadians to be here. We bought another Texas state park pass at $70 USD ($100 CAD) and while we will get some value out of it this month, it's valid for a full year and we won't likely (but you never know!) be back in Texas next season.

Even with the exchange rate, gas, wine, and liquor are still cheaper for us here. But most groceries are quite a bit more expensive. I guess it all comes out in the wash. It is still a bit of a shock though after our four and a half months in Mexico.

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28 comments:

  1. Glad your hunkered down and staying healthy.

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    1. Not quite hunkered down but we will soon be. Definitely doing everything necessary to stay healthy and safe.

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  2. Where is the rest of your group?

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    1. Once we crossed the border our commitment to the group was over. Out of the five RVs that crossed the borer, one split off from us right away and headed back up to Idaho, the second one left the very next morning towards Phoenix and then up to Montana. The third stayed with us for a few days and then they started heading back home towards Nova Scotia and the last two, ourselves and one other couple are still traveling together as we make our way north of here.

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    2. Glad to hear all are safe.

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  3. So many unforeseen consequences of this new world we live in.

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  4. I remember when you had that problem before. Glad that you will be able to fix it yourself and hopefully it will last longer the next time.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the solitude the park provides.

    It's about time.

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    1. Kevin changed out the idle control module yesterday so we haven't started Sherman up yet or driven him to make sure that it works and see if that was the problem, although Kevin in very confident that was the problem.

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  5. Are you aware that all Texas state parks are closed effective today?

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    1. Yes, fortunately the park we are in is honouring reservations that are currently in the park, so we get to stay one more night.

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  6. If you are headed through Wyoming, Highline Trails RV Park south of Pinedale is open. We are seasonal here. https://www.highlinetrailrvpark.com

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    1. We will most likely hit part of Wyoming but I don't think we will be that far over, it is hard to say but we will certainly keep that in mind, thank you.

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  7. The exchange rate issue has always bothered me. Our winter home in Yuma is surrounded by wonderful Canadian friends - not only can they use their money directly here, but the rate hits them hard. I wish we, the U.S., could find a way to be more appreciative of our northern neighbors!

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    1. Yes indeed, including their Mexican neighbors to the south that are suffering from the exchange rate as well.

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    2. Yep, the exchange rate hits us hard but we all know that when we head into the US, we just have to figure that into our travel expenses and adjust our budget to compensate for it. This is one of the many reasons that we rarely if ever eat out in the States or do things that cost money, entertainment wise and instead do as much free stuff as possible and as much boondocking as possible.

      At least gas and booze, even with the exchange rate! :-)

      And yep Chris is right, it is even harder on those that are south of the border.

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  8. My comment should have read "Not only can they NOT use their cash here" - a double negative I guess, but the whole situation is a double negative!

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  9. I have read several times in the last week of people who are full timers as well as Canadians heading home who have had the good luck to find parks that are willing to help them out, some bending the rules.

    Even though we can't go now, with the high exchange rate, the saving grace for us going to Texas would be the low fuel prices.

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    1. Yes, there are some private parks that are allowed to take long term RVs in but being in a community full of people is something that we are trying to stay away from. The less people the better, in our minds.

      We have only filled up once so far since entering into the US but it was nice to see those cheap gas prices for sure!

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  10. It isn't the US taking advantage, it is the low value of their currency.. And Canadians seem to have plenty of currency to come here and enjoy the beauty of our country. I have been to Canada and enjoyed the beauty of their country but at the time didn't enjoy the price of their gas.

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    1. You are totally correct GMF, it works that way all around the world. Being a Canadian we certainly have the choice to decide whether to travel to the US knowing full well what the exchange rate is. Obviously it doesn't stop many people from traveling south, they may just spend less of their money on things they might have spent money on otherwise and for many, it probably doesn't make a difference at all. We choose to spend our winters in Mexico rather than the US though and part of that is because of the exchange rate but mostly it is just because we love Mexico so much. Normally we spend a month going through the US to get there but we will only spend the money that we absolutely have to because of the bad exchange.

      Yep, normally gas it quite a bit more expensive in Canada, as well as our booze!

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  11. One would think a replacement part would last longer than two years. Thankfully Kevin knows how to fix it so rejoice over the saved labor $$$ and spend it on booze. :c)

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    1. Yes, I would have thought so too. Unfortunately, the replacement parts are all made in China and the original GM stuff is obsolete.

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  12. Fuel prices in Canada are almost as low, equivalent of $1.35 US per gsllon in parts of Alberta. The big problem you could have is finding a place to camp in Canada, a lot of campgrounds are closing. Traveling could be a thing of the past for up to 2 years they are saying. I am still hopeful I can get back to Mexico by late fall. They are evene thinking of stopping province to province movement.

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    1. So far we have only filled up the once and that was a day after we arrived back in the US from Mexico. It will be interesting to see what the prices are like by the time we have our next fill up.

      So much can change, so we aren't even trying to speculate on what might happen in the next year or two, we just want to get through the next few months first.

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  13. The way you two travel as boondockers like me, it is pretty easy to get by cheaply in this country. And there is so much to see and do that is free. To get out of the cold I think the exchange rate is not a show stopper. Enjoy your stay.

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    1. It still costs us more with the exchange rate but if you are careful then yes, you can do it fairly inexpensively, especially if you love to do a lot of free outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

      We totally agree that if you want to get away from the cold the exchange rate isn't going to stop people.

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